, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 20, 2012

Town hires Cataldo Ambulance Service


“The Fire Department probably works closer that any other department in town with the ambulance service, and Chief Souliotis strongly supported Cataldo,” Harrington said.

Cataldo will take over AMR’s contract in town until it ends on June 30, Harrington said. The town will evaluate its performance when determining if it will continue with the company or seek other candidates.

Harrington said when making his decision, he was looking for a company that would provide good quality of care to the town’s residents and visitors.

Another factor in his decision was to find a company that would show its support to the community by helping out local charities and joining the Chamber of Commerce, to which Cataldo agreed.

But one of the most important factors was for the ambulance company to have a relationship with Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance, something AMR did not have and which became problematic. Cataldo entered into a contract with BC/BS in October, Cataldo said.

Harrington said his understanding is that AMR’s not being a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts provider made life financially difficult for the company. It left the ambulance service having to chase down patients for payment, which was not cost-effective, Harrington said.

“I wanted to ensure that the next ambulance company had a relationship with Blue Cross so as not to run into the same problem again,” Harrington said.

When AMR pulled out, there had been some discussion of the town’s fire department taking over, but Harrington said that would have necessitated a huge financial commitment. Salisbury only has five full-time firefighters, he said, and isn’t a full-time fire department, relying on part-time and call staff when needed.

But an ambulance service has to be provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“You need at least two people staffing the ambulance 24/7,” he said. “We’d have to hire a lot more staff. It would have been cost-prohibitive.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Special Features